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First a personal reflection … my professional satisfaction as an architect is an ongoing balance between the accomplishments of any individual project and the vision, values, culture, and influence of the firm as a practice. The impact of a project is critical, and the scale of a practice is essential. Addressing the challenges of climate change, sustainability, justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and public interest design is a both/and proposition. It is local and global, personal and organizational, tactical and strategic. Truly a nested system.   Here at HKS, we adopted a new Strategic Plan in 2019 and are committed to making this an active, living ...
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[From COTE sponsor Kingspan ] Partnering, collaborating and innovating are efforts many building construction professionals take pride and ownership in as they continue working together to reduce our carbon footprint and improve environmental impacts in the built world. The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE®) was developed with those practices in mind and members work to advance, disseminate and advocate design practices that integrate built and natural systems. As a committee, this group advises on environmental matters and how they may affect the designers of architecture and yearly, awards the top ten building projects recognized for integrating ...
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Over the summer of 2020, some important policy documents have been released by Congressional committees and political parties indicating that there are reasons to be optimistic about the fight against the climate crisis. None of these documents have any current bearing on the actions of the US federal government. But they show AIA COTE Advocacy where our opportunities for future climate actions are.   The most important of these reports was the June 2020 Majority Report of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. We have highlighted this document previously in this newsletter, but it remains the most detailed and ambitious legislative policy outline ...
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Fall is my favorite season.  I love the vivid colors of the leaves and the briskness in the air (and relief from the summer heat).  It is also time usually associated with getting back into the swing of things: kids going back to school, college students starting a new adventure, more structure after the relaxed summer.  Things feel different this year.  If we do have a routine, it is anything but normal.   As we continue working in the virtual realm and build upon the remote learning experiments from the end of the last academic year, there is still so much to learn, explore and grow into.  COTE is also adapting, evolving and stretching.  Last year, the ...
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In these COVID times, architect and pioneer of senior cohousing in North America, Charles “Chuck” Durrett (Durrett Architects) worries about seniors now more than ever. This is no time to be isolated. Seniors in cohousing are socially distanced but not socially isolated. Between Tai Chi twice per day, assisting each other with groceries, prescription drugs, safe and distant but fun meals together and hundreds of other things, seniors look out for each other in cohousing in these times. They help people most at risks minimize their exposure to COVID. Therefore, Chuck is more motivated than ever to get more seniors into cohousing, into the good times, and into ...
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Opinion: Why We Can’t Ignore College-Based Senior Cohousing   by Charles Durrett and Bernice Gonzalez of Durrett Architects. You need to build strong healthy relationships in good times, so you are ready for times such as these. And preferably relationships in a community that is very proximate - like a village; common dinners, common workdays, common problems to solve, tai chi, common gardening, book clubs, yoga, and just plain discussing the issues of the day, you know, old fashioned village making, so when the  s _ _ t  hits the fan, like COVID-19, community is in place! At Nevada City Cohousing, we get together each night at 7pm to drum, even if ...
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COTE news: August 2020

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Don’t miss Julie Hiromoto’s Chair Letter for updates from the AIA Knowledge Leadership Assembly this month, a link to the AIA Platform, and more. https://bit.ly/COTEnewsAug2020_ChairLtr   COTE encourages you all to consider virtually attending RESET CarbonPositive Teach-In on September 8 (for North/South America); register now! https://bit.ly/COTEnewsAug2020_RESET   Guest author Nakita Reed talks about the importance of Measure 9: Design for Change. https://bit.ly/COTEnewsAug2020_Measure9   And William Bahnfleth discusses issues of ventilation in the time of COVID-19. https://bit.ly/COTEnewsAug2020_ClearAir     COTE ...
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[COTE news | August]   IMAGE CREDITS:  CAPTION: The transformation of a dilapidated, two-story, 1920s warehouse in the Station North Arts District of Baltimore has created a vibrant, technology-rich studio and workshop environment that is now one of the largest nonprofit maker spaces in the country.    Quinn Evans designed the renovation of this vacant warehouse to provide an inclusive source of economic, creative, and social opportunities. OpenWorks welcomes local artists and craftspeople in support of their small-scale manufacturing and innovative start-up endeavors. The building offers a host of fabrication and machine shops for working ...
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CLEARING THE AIR:  The Evolving Role of Ventilation and Filtration in HVAC   By  William P.  Bahnfleth , PhD, PE   Professor of Architectural Engineering, Penn State   Chair, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force   Due to the possibility of aerosol transmission of Covid-19, ventilation with outdoor air and filtration are receiving more attention in both professional circles and among the public than at any time in recent memory. Infrequently asked questions such as “how much outdoor air does my building really need?” and “what efficiency level should the filters in my HVAC system have?” have become subjects of vigorous debate. The answers to these ...
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RESET for Practice Transformation: Join the CarbonPositive Teach-In The urgency of the climate crisis has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Architecture 2030 is stepping into the moment with  CarbonPositive  RESET ,  a free ,  interdisciplinary, practice-focused event for architects, planners, engineers, builders, developers and policymakers . They are calling it a Teach-In, lending it a touch of throwback, but this is all about preparing for a future in which our species can thrive.  The event is a full day event for each region: North and South America on September 8; Europe, Middle East & Africa on September 17; and Asia, ...
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Dear COTE members, Every year, AIA convenes all 21 Knowledge Communities (KCs) with the Board and Strategic Council in late summer to stitch together all the activity and great ideas bubbling up across our ecosystem.  It’s an opportunity to build collaborative relationships, cross fertilize ideas, and align KC strategy with larger AIA goals and priorities.  It’s called Knowledge Leadership Assembly (KLA).  Instead of meeting physically in North Carolina the first week of August, we experimented with a completely virtual meeting, hosted in the zoom webinar platform.  The three-day event was kicked off with two keynotes on Monday, focused conversations in smaller ...
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Voting for the CACE 2021 Executive Committee will take place during our Virtual CACE Annual Meeting on August 12, 2020, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM.  CACE 2021 Executive Committee Candidates President-elect Corey Clayborne, FAIA, AIA Virginia Secretary Cathy Mosley, AIA Michigan Amber Lombardo, AIA Memphis Vice President (two-year term; two candidates to be elected) David Southerland, AIA Georgia and AIA Atlanta Mary-Margaret Zindren, CAE, AIA Minnesota, AIA Minneapolis, AIA St. Paul, and AIA Northern MN
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COTE news: July 2020

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Julie Hiromoto, AIA, chair of AIA COTE’s national advisory group, on putting equity issues into practice and learning about the experiences of BIPOC colleagues.  https://bit.ly/COTEnewsJuly2020_ChairLtr Snohetta’s Dennis Rijkoff, AIA, offers an intriguing take on the AIA Framework for Design Excellence’s Measure 8: Design for Resources: Toward an Architecture of Vitality and Productivity https://bit.ly/COTEnewsJuly2020_Measure8 Here’s a snapshot about how AIA and COTE are turning advocacy into impact, due to persistent effort from AIA Government Advocacy group and Mike Davis, FAIA.  https://bit.ly/COTEnewsJuly2020_Advocacy   HKS’s ...
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Mission The mission of the Building Performance Knowledge Community (BPKC) is to increase building performance related to occupant comfort and health, and to the function, durability, sustainability, and resilience of buildings. Goals This Mission will be accomplished by increasing dissemination of knowledge and resources and increasing engagement of all stakeholders in the design and construction community with an emphasis on integration of building systems and a special focus on the Exterior Building Enclosure. The issues to address specifically include: building planning building planning establishing performance criteria integrated design ...
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Dear COTE members, Last month , I noted that solidarity is not enough, that action is required to overcome systemic racial injustice.  Curious about where to start?  Consider the Framework for Design Excellence’s Measure 2: Design for Equitable Communities : Design solutions affect more than the client and current occupants. Good design positively impacts future occupants and the larger community. What is the project's greater reach? How could this project contribute to creating a diverse walkable (accessible), human-scaled community? Who might this project be forgetting? How can the design process and outcome remove barriers and promote inclusion ...
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COTE news / July 2020 USGBC Equity Summit: Reflections from Listening and Learning By Sarah Woynicz-Sianoecki, AIA “Better buildings mean better lives for all.” In the inaugural virtual Equity Summit, held on May 28 and 29, this tagline set the stage and carried the conversation led by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Through a call for submissions in early May, 16 presenters were selected to speak and share how their stories, research, practice, programs, and built work are not just moving the needle on the sustainable and environmental front, but in matters of social equity and justice. This two-day summit brought presenters, attendees, ...
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Advocacy Update | Advocacy = Impact   By Mike Davis, FAIA   During the last few months, the US House of Representatives has moved or issued several legislative proposals that are closely aligned with the AIA’s principal advocacy focus: climate action. These Congressional actions are evidence that effective advocacy has an impact.   “Solving the Climate Crisis, the Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America”, the 350-page report released by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, can be seen as one of the AIA’s biggest advocacy wins for  2020. AIA COTE members and AIA senior staff ...
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New COTE Advisory Group Member: Kira Gould, Allied AIA   This month, we share the voice of the fourth of the four new COTE Advisory Group members for 2020, Kira Gould, Allied AIA. See past stories to learn about  Julie Snow , FAIA;  Billie Faircloth , AIA; and  Billie Tsien , AIA.   Kira Gould is an Allied AIA member; she is a communications professional and principal of Kira Gould CONNECT, a consultancy that helps people and firms with storytelling and thought leadership. She worked in-house at William McDonough + Partners and Gould Evans, and before that as an editor at  Metropolis . She co-authored, with Lance ...
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“Memento Mori” Roman mosaic from Pompeii, Italy, 30 BCE | Source: Wikimedia Commons  Crafted 2050 years ago, this intricate artwork depicts a bricklayer's plumb line balancing symbols of prosperity over a skull, a butterfly, and wheel: allegorically symbolizing the fleeting nature of life and imploring us to seize our present opportunities. In 2019, the AIA adopted the COTE measures as the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. We’ve been exploring the measures in a series of posts. We asked Dennis to share his thoughts about Measure 8: Design for Resources which reads:   Sustainable design includes the informed selection of materials and ...
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The f uture of retail in America is under  renewed  focus as COVID-19 forces declining retail models to fold.  The shopping mall as a retail model has been in decline for years, but the pandemic has hastened its demise.  Analysts are now predicting historic retail closures in 2020 of more than double the previous record experienced in 2009.  According to  Coresight  Research , US retailers will close between 20,000-25,000 stores this year –  and  as much as 60% of those closures will occur in shopping malls.  Another  recent study  found that more than half of  all mall-based department stores  will  close by the end of 2021 , which may ...
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